4 Main Street,
Happy Landing Bar Eglinton During the Second World War, it wasn’t uncommon for ten pilots to fly out on a mission and for only seven or eight to return.
As a result, any landing on the way back, however rough, came to be regarded as a happy one, and the Happy Landing Bar in Eglinton, not far from the airbase, recalls the gratitude of the Fleet Air Arm pilots who came back.
This is the old coaching inn where Thackeray stayed, the inn which once sat at the crossroads on the main road, or broad 30 road as the locals called it, between Derry and Limavady, when Eglinton was no more than a handful of houses.
At one stage in its long history, it was owned by an Englishman called Digby and his Welsh wife.
Now Digby had a habit of drinking after hours with his cronies after his wife had retired for the night.
One Friday evening, after a prolonged carouse below, he was going up to bed himself, when he fell from the top of the stairs right down to the bottom and died exactly one week later.
The present landlord swears that his restless ghost still inhabits the downstairs bar, and poltergeist activities in the form of glasses knocked off shelves, or bottles overturned, are apparently a regular but harmless occurrence in the Happy Landing Bar.
The only pub in the village, today’s inn offers a number of very welcome services, not least of which is the spacious car park at the rear.
As well as a very good grill bar menu, there is available on request an excellent arrangement for small private groups and functions – a lovely little downstairs cocktail bar and its complementary dining room above.
Both are exclusive to private parties with advance bookings, and the separate toilet facilities mean that your party can enjoy an evening here feeling they have an inn all to themselves.
Don’t worry if you are of a nervous disposition – that poltergeist is reserved for the public bar alone!